In Cleveland, overtime occurs when an employee works over 40 hours in a seven-day workweek. If someone is a nonexempt employee from overtime, they are legally entitled to one and a half times their regular rate of pay for overtime hours worked.
A regular rate of pay can have different meanings depending on the job and how an individual gets paid. If an employee were to total their weekly earnings and divide it by the number of hours they worked that week before overtime, that amount constitutes their regular rate of pay. Negotiations may occur between an employee, their employer, and their respective attorneys if there is an issue regarding unpaid overtime. Our Cleveland unpaid overtime lawyers at Tittle and Perlmuter could help you through these negotiations if you believe you are not receiving proper payment.
If an employee is expected to work a certain amount every week, hours worked over 40 are still considered overtime hours. However, an employer can structure pay on a fluctuating workweek basis so that employees know what they may receive for working over 40 hours a week. The fluctuating workweek takes an employee’s regular rate of pay and multiplies it by at least one and a half their regular rate for the hours worked over 40 to ensure that an employee does not get a lower pay than required. Employers can properly structure it in such a way that employees receive a certain rate of pay each week, but do not get any additional pay for overtime.
To comply with rules regarding pay for hours worked over 40, employers should have a firm understanding of applicable regulations, good legal counsel, and sound pay structures. It is important to note that employers often inadvertently shortchange their employees when attempting to comply with regulations by using fluctuating workweek pay. An experienced lawyer in Cleveland could assess an employee’s pay schedule to determine if they are going unpaid for their overtime work hours.
If an employee is not receiving overtime pay, they should call a lawyer in Cleveland and the Department of Labor. A lawyer could pursue a civil case on behalf of the employee, and the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division will investigate. Every state has a regional office of the Department of Labor, and their Wage and Hour Division investigates complaints of overtime pay violations. Both the Department of Labor and the court can issue backpay awards.
The Department of Labor may pursue a case similar to how an attorney would. Employers may settle such cases, or the Secretary of Labor may sue the company for a wage and hour violation, which would proceed in a way similar to how a lawyer would manage a case.
Some of the most frequently seen unpaid overtime issues in Cleveland include straight time for overtime hours and failure to pay. If a nonexempt employee works over 40 hours in a week and is paid straight time, it may constitute a failure to pay because the employer has required the employee to work off the clock.
A nonexempt employee’s overtime pay also may have to include any commission pay that they earned during the week in addition to their hourly wage. Certain employees do not have to receive the full minimum wage if they collect tips. For instance, their pay may be half of the minimum wage before factoring in any tips. However, employers may still have to calculate overtime pay for those employees using the full minimum wage rather than their typical hourly rate.
Upon approaching unpaid overtime issues, an employee should provide either a Cleveland attorney or the Department of Labor with meticulous records. If someone has a suspicion that their overtime pay may not be correct or that they are being shorted hours, having contemporaneous records showing the number of hours worked and the amount of pay they received is critical.
Employees who are required to work off the clock after they punch out, for instance, should take photos on their phone to show the times that they punched out and the times that they left the business over the course of at least one pay period. This will allow a lawyer or the Department of Labor to compare those times with the employee’s paystubs and determine if they have a viable claim.
Many wage and hour cases are fundamentally rooted in how many hours an employee worked versus how much they were paid. Attorneys often need employees to gather more information than they would normally, as overtime violations can be nuanced and likely will not entail blatantly unpaid stubs. This means that an employee who is required to work off the clock should not expect that their compensation will be accurately reflected on their paystub.
For an attorney to build the strongest possible case, the employee should keep records demonstrating the hours they work, the pay they receive, and what their job duties entail.
If you are not getting paid for extra working hours, you should contact one of our Cleveland unpaid overtime lawyers for help building a case. We could help you collect evidence, evaluate the value of your case, and pursue fair compensation. You should receive payment for all of your hard work. At Tittle & Perlmuter, we can help you do that. For more information, call today.